Balance

 

Hey y’all! Today I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind lately and that is the idea of “balance.” Particulary balance when it comes to the way we eat and exercise. Finding that balance between “healthy foods” and “not healthy food” or tracking your macros and intuitive eating or working out and taking rest days… it can ben hard. It can be especially hard for those of us who come from a past with body image issues, disordered eating, or the fear of losing control. I can say that I have found a balance that works for me, but I am by no means perfect and still have days I find myself struggling to feel balanced at all.

First of all, “balance” is going to mean something different to everyone. We are all unique individuals with different mental and physical needs, we should not judge others on their idea of balance.

“Balance: a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.”

When I think  of “balance” with food I think of eating in a way that nourishes your body, is health consious (not obsessed), and you enjoy other things in moderation just because you want to. Theres no guilt attached to indulging and no feeling reward attached to eating “healthy.” It’s simply how you eat and you make choices based on how you feel at that point in time.

IMG_9458.JPG

On social media, I see alot of talk about finding balance. And for many they look to flexible dieting to do that, or… they’ve become too obsessed with flexible dieting and they want to find balance through more intuitive eating. I think for alot of people that I see, flexible dieting has really helped them overcome restrictive eating. It did so for me. I realized that there are no “good foods” and “bad foods” and that I could eat what I wanted and reach my fitness goals. It also helped me understand how the body uses different amounts of each macro nutrient: protein, carbs, and fats. Learning about macro counting really helped me when recovering from my eating disorders, because I was afraid of so many foods. White bread, rice, sugar, oils, artificial sweetners, and anything that I thought was “bad.” Flexible dieting helped me to find more of a “balance” when it came to food choice.

For someone that is competing in body building, tracking your macros and following a strict diet is not because they have an eating disorder. It’s because it takes precision to reach that goal. But if you’re not competing, tracking every bite of food you eat may not be healthy. It can turn into an obsession. Counting macros is an amazing tool, and allows you to eat a wide variety of food, but when your My Fitness Pal app turns into something you can’t live without – it becomes its own type of eating disorder.

Looking back, before I started prep I was way too strict with myself. I would still track my macros almost every day but listened to my body. I ate more if I needed too. I did enjoy the occasional “cheat meal” (I’ll make another post on why this actually is not a good term to use) with friends, but usually felt guilty afterwards. I was still worried about what I ate. I felt like I “couldn’t” eat the pizza or cake in my school caf because it couldn’t fit in my macros. I know I was keeping my fitness goals in mind, but I could have been more balanced.

Moving forward, after my next show, I plan to use macro counting simply as a guide and tool for me to check in on how I’m fueling my body. I’ve been doing it long enough that I should feel confident in just choosing some grilled chicken, rice, and veggies and know approximately how much I’m consuming without feeling the need to always weight it out and track it in an app.

I will be reverse dieting to build my metabolism, so I will need to track for a while so my coach can know what’s going on and what he needs to change. But once I get to a place that I feel my metabolism is running very efficiently, I want to challenge myself to intuitive eating and not track for a while. I think it’s good for anyone to take a break once in a while and it will be really good for me mentally. Of course I’ll still be eating nutrient dense foods, but it won’t be so meticulous. I also want to be able to just enjoy college and go out for spontaneous pizza and ice cream.

Pizza is not what’s unhealthy, its worring that it’s going to make you fat is what’s unhealthy. Having a perfect diet is not what’s healthy, but being at peace with food is healthy.

Let me know what you think of balance.

xoxo,

Steph

 

show day

Hey guys! If you follow my fitness Instagram @stephbalanced_fit, then you’ve probably seen my journey of prepping for and competing in my first fitness competition. I haven’t been blogging lately, but I want to pick it back up and I thought I should start by updating you with all that’s going on! Also before we hop in – I may be changing my ftness Instagram to my main instagram and renaming it to match this blog. Let me know what you think.

You can watch my show day vlog here, too!

 

Let’s do a little recap on the competition!

My first competition was a few weeks ago, the Dexter Jackson Classic in Memphis, TN and I have another local show in a few weeks. Back in January I decided I would want to compete this summer, so I decided to do a 3 month “bulk” to put on the added muscle I would need before cutting (leaning out/losing body fat) for the show. I started prep in April, and prepped for about 14 weeks for this first show.

The competition was one of the most weekends of my life! The venue was beautiful and everyone running the show made it so enjoyable and as stress free as possible. Seeing 14 weeks of hard work come together on stage was so rewarding. I’ve found I have a true passion for this sport and it combines so many things I love.

IMG_8478 2

I ended up coming home with 3 trophies, which was I wasn’t expecting at all! I won True Novice, Teen, and placed 3rd in Open Class B. Words can’t explain how happy and grateful I was. After the show, I went out to celebrate with my dad and Hayden and we enjoyed a good burger, sweet potato fries and an amazing deep dish chocolate chip cookie skillet topped with ice cream. And we can’t forget the Gibson’s Red Velvet Donut Hayden had waiting for me when I got off stage. I enjoyed the next day and we went out for brunch, before hopping back on track for the next show. I’m currently 3 weeks out!

FullSizeRender 21.jpgIMG_8634 2IMG_8629 2

I want to share a few things I’ve learned, observed and want to share with you all.

Competing definitley is not for everyone. It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice if you want to be successful. It can also trigger obsessive exercise and food behaviors for people that have a past of disordered eating. I honestly did not experience that during my prep, but it’s something to be aware of. I obviously had to meticulously track and weigh my food – but it’s for the purpose of the sport – not out of the obsession with food or the fear of gaining weight. There’s a big difference.

Another thing to remember is that getting stage lean, or getting abs – is not natural for your body. It’s a temporary state, and is NOT HEALTHY for a prolonged period of time. Being at such a lean state and in a calorie deficit does affect your hormones. Some are more affected by this than others- especially women. You absolutley need to put on some healthy body fat post show, and work closely with your coach to reverse diet properly. My coach, Paul Revelia has awesome information on his YouTube channel. You can check out his coaching offers at prophysique.com

I will do more posts on body fat, hormones and health very soon. 🙂 But overall, I think competing is amazing, but you have to do it for the right reasons.

Some things to remember if you’re considering competing:

  1. Getting stage lean will not and cannot fix: 1. un healthy body image 2. unhealthy relationships with food

2. People will not love you any more or any less if you compete.

3. Competing does not validate your fitness level.

4. Competing is very expensive. Don’t do it unless you know you have the money too or have saved for it.

5. During prep, it can easily take over your life and you will have to sacrifice certain things for a period of time.

6. If you don’t like structure, you’ll probably hate prep. If you like structure (like me) you’ll find it hard but still enjoy the process. Make sure you evaluate this before hand.

 

I hope you all found this post helpful, and let me know what else you’d like me to talk about! I’ll update you on my next show and also my post-show plans. 🙂

Stay happy and healthy.

xoxo,

Steph

Hey guys! Today’s tutorial is a fun purple and gold look, perfect for a holiday party! I love the “spotlight” or “halo” eye technique- when a much lighter shade is in the center and a deeper shade is on the inner and outer corners. It makes your look so big and doll-like, and is flattering on almost anyone! If you want to see how to get this look, watch the tutorial below! (full list of products below!)

Thanks for watching! Here’s some more pics of the look:

Products Used:

Ulta Eye Primer in Nude Matte

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

Smashbox On The Rocks Palette (discontinued…sorry! Use any purple shadow that is similar!)

Rimmel ScandalEyes Liner in Black (on waterline)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

Makeup Forever HD Fondation

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette 

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer

Tarte Exposed Blush

Becca Champagne Pop Highligher

NYX Nude Suede Shoes Lip Liner

Loreal Fairest Nude Lipstick

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Super Natural

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog!
I hope you all are having a great holiday season! Let me know what you wanna see next!
Xoxo,

Stephanie

img_2324img_2328-2img_2323img_2322

Hey guys! Today I thought I’d share a fun makeup shoot I did, let me know if you’d like to see more of my freelance work on here! Enjoy!

model: Millie Milton

photographer: Hayden Proctor (Instagram @ jhp_photography)

makeup: me

products used:

Nars Pro Prime Eyeshadow Primer

Smashbox On The Rocks Photo Op Palette (discontinued)

Rimmel ScandalEyes Eyeliner in Black

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

Ardell 110 False Lahses

Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard

Kat Von D Contour Palette

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Poured in Opal

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in Champagne Pop

Nars Madly Blush

Mac Spice Lip Liner

Soap & Glory Matte Lipstick in Super Nude

Maybelline Color Jolt in Stripped Down

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo,

Steph

IMG_0455.JPG

Lately I have been trying to find a skincare routine that works for me. My skin has been crazy the last year, and will either be very oily or very dry– and acne prone. This combination makes it tough to find products that fight acne without over-drying. I’ve been hesitant to do an “Updated Skincare Routine” because I’ve struggled to find products that really work. There are so many amazing, quality products on the market, but they may not work for your unique skin-type. After tons of trial and error, research, and several trips to Sephora to chat with the experts– I’ve found 3 produts that have been working wonders on my skin.

The 3 products I’m loving are the Murad Time Release Cleanser, Sunday Riley U.F.O., and Kate Somerville EradiKate™ Acne Spot Treatment. I use them in that order, morning and night. Come on, I’ll tell you some more about each product!

Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser

What is it?
An extra gentle anti-aging acne cleanser that contains sustained-release salicylic acid to help clear skin (without over drying) and maintain youthfulness.

What does it contain?

0.5% salicylic acid treats acne while amino acids and hyaluronic acid bind moisture to skin

What does it do?
Time Release Acne Cleanser’s low foaming formula delivers sustained-released acne medication and improves skin’s appearance. It does not foam much because ingredients that create foam can cause drying. “Encapsulated salicylic acid technology” provides a long-acting acne treatment that stays active even after rinsing. Amino acids and hyaluronic acid bind moisture to skin to optimize hydration and restore suppleness while antioxidants neutralize free radicals to preserve a more youthful appearance.

Why I LOVE it:

As I talked to the lady at Sephora, I questioned why I should choose this cleanser over Murad’s (or any other brand’s) harsher acne cleanser. She explained that the lower , slower release of salicylic acid would be less harsh on my combination skin and not just an “instant fix” product. I love the tingly feeling this cleanser has when you wash your face,  I actually feel like it’s working. It also it has a fresh minty scent, which I personally love!

Sunday Riley U.F.O. (Ultra Clarifying Oil)

What is it?

A quick-absorbing, medicated dry oil to clear congested pores, treat and prevent acne, and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for clearer, smoother skin.

What does it contain?

1.5% salicylic acid to treat acne , tea tree oil and black cumin seed oil support clear skin, while hexylresorcinol and licorice naturally brighten the appearance of old acne discolorations for a more even-toned complexion.

Why I LOVE it:

I instantly fell in love with oil as soon as I tried a sample. Immediately after I finished my sample jar, I ran to Sephora to purchase the full size! This oil has really calmed my skin and left it feeling moisturized but not oily. It absorbs into the skin quickly, and soothes any inflation or redness on the skin. I used 3-4 drops at night before bed and 1 drop in the morning. Sometimes I follow with a moisturizer, but honestly I feel like U.F.O. is enough on it’s own!

Kate Somerville EradiKate™ Acne Spot Treatment

What is it?

A strong blemish-banishing acne spot treatment to fight pimples, zits, and future breakouts.

What does it contain?

Actually NOT salicylic acid! haha  I love salicylic acid, but sulphur is also a great ingredient to fight acne. EradiKate™ Acne Treatment is specifically formulated with the highest level of sulfur allowed to effectively heal blemishes, reduce acne, and help keep skin free of new breakouts. AHAs are designed to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores while zinc oxide, a natural mineral, provides oil control by absorbing excess sebum production. The result is clear skin that lasts!

Why I LOVE it:

I’ve heard a lot about this treatment and I finally decided to give it a go! I’ve found success with drugstore spot treatments, but found I had to apply them for several consecutive days to see results. This one works overnight!

What else you need to know:

  • EradiKate™ Acne Treatment is most effective when applied to affected areas as soon as blemishes or pimples are noticed. Here’s what Kate says:

    “Do you have a pimple you can feel but can’t see? Use EradiKate on the area immediately to help prevent it from surfacing.”—Kate Somerville, Founder

 

  • Apply with a cotton swab. Don’t double dip to prevent bacteria contamination.
  • Do not shake the bottle!

 

Thank you so much for stopping by! These are some products I’m truly impressed with, so let me know if you try them out!

xoxo,

Steph

Product Info From: www.sephora.com